The Role of Tribal Consultations at AHCCCS

American Indian tribes have historically been recognized as inherent sovereign nations by the federal government – a distinction that arises out of the unique political relationship between the United States and Indian tribes and is the basis for the work of Tribal Relations at state and federal agencies. While each tribe has independent governmental structures and programs serving their citizens, there are also federal and state programs that serve American Indians and require coordinated efforts between tribal, state, and federal entities.

AHCCCS recognizes our responsibility, as a state-federal Medicaid program, in upholding the sovereignty of tribes in forming our policies and programming. AHCCCS engages in quarterly tribal consultation meetings to receive feedback and guide discussion on these important topics. Our agency is entrusted with providing a space where AHCCCS leadership, tribes, Indian Health Service facilities, and Urban Indian Health Programs, engage in open, continuous, and meaningful consultation on a government-to-government basis.

Tribal consultations are an important way in which AHCCCS receives input from tribal leaders, stakeholders, and community members prior to implementing program changes or policies that impact AHCCCS-enrolled tribal members. The tribal consultation process is guided by the AHCCCS Tribal Consultation Policy and complies with Arizona Revised Statute 41-2051 Section C, which is meant to ensure that there is ongoing information exchange and mutual understanding between tribes and AHCCCS which leads to informed decision-making. Topics of discussion at each tribal consultation meeting includes any State Plan Amendments, State Waiver updates, and routine cross-division updates.  [Include with Source Article: Agency staff who wish to be included on the agenda or invite list for future tribal consultations should reach out to AHCCCS Tribal Liaison, Amanda Bahe for coordination.] AHCCCS Tribal Consultation locations are alternated between the Central AHCCCS office in Phoenix, statewide tribal nation lands, and partner IHS and Urban Indian health program locations. 

For more information on the AHCCCS Tribal Consultation Policy and Process, and 2020 dates and locations, visit the AHCCCS Tribal Consultation page.

Amanda Bahe, AHCCCS Tribal Liaison, is the point of contact for any questions related to the AHCCCS Tribal Consultation process. She can be reached at Amanda.Bahe@azahcccs.gov.

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